Large percentages of Muslims in the Middle East still believe Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks, according to Kenneth R. Timmerman, author of Preachers of Hate: Islam and the War on America. Many in the Arab world believe the Israeli Mossad orchestrated the slaughter and framed an innocent group of Muslims, Timmerman told the attendees at an Accuracy in Media (AIM) luncheon.
He recounted claims that no Jews were killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center. How was it then, Timmerman rhetorically asked the AIM audience, that so many people with clearly Jewish names were among those killed on September 11, 2001? Timmerman recited a list of these last names in the most chilling moment of his presentation.
The nation central to this misinformation campaign, according to Timmerman, is Saudi Arabia. He said that 80 percent of the mosques in the United States are Saudi-controlled. Saudi government-regulated children’s textbooks, in turn, teach that Jews are “the sons of monkeys and pigs,” Timmerman told the crowd.
Timmerman’s work on the Middle East dates back to 1982 when he reported for USA Today from Beirut, Lebanon. His experience on that assignment went beyond the ordinary and certainly beyond the academic—he was captured by Fatah guerillas and held hostage for 24 days. Perhaps not surprisingly, ever since then he has held an interest in the threat of extremist-Islam. He described some of his investigations into the matter.
Timmerman personally interviewed actual Palestinian suicide bombers who had been captured before they had succeeded in blowing themselves (and others) up. He met with them when they were in the jails of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). The PLO jailers, Timmerman noted, treated the captured would-be “martyrs” as one would honored guests, a far cry from the way other prisoners were handled.
Timmerman warned that the extreme anti-Semitism of terrorist Islamic groups should not be misconstrued as ending with Jews. Rather, it would quickly extend to all things Western and un-Islamic, Timmerman predicts. Jews, Timmerman said, are just the first target of extremist Islam, and not a target in and of themselves.
Timmerman’s book, Preachers of Hate, goes after only against the most extremist leaders and followers of Islam. He, in fact, dedicates his book to “Ayatollah Mehdi Rouhani (1932-2000), whose vision of tolerance is sorely needed today.”
Timmerman described the shockingly common presence of extreme anti-Semitism in the Islamic world. The Syrian defense minister authored The Matzah of Zion, a book that propagates outrageous allegations regarding the Jews. There exists a widespread belief throughout the Muslim world in the validity of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a piece of propaganda authored by the Russian czar’s secret police near the beginning of the 20th century purporting to be the plans of a secret Jewish cabal to dominate the world.
Much of Timmerman’s luncheon talk had to do with Yasser Arafat. Timmerman revealed the student-mentor connection Arafat had with the infamous Grand Mufti Haj Mohammed Amin al-Husseini, who befriended Hitler and actively aided the Third Reich.
Arafat tacitly admitted to the official Palestinian daily Al-Hayat al Jadida that his signing of the Oslo Peace Accords was a strategic maneuver designed to give anti-Israeli forces time to regroup in order to eventually accomplish their true goal—the total destruction of Israel. In Arabic, Arafat recalled the story of the Al-Hudaybiyya agreement between the Prophet Mohammad and the Meccan tribe of Quraish, in which Mohammad pledged peace for 10 years with the Quraish, whose forces were stronger than his at the time.
Mohammad used the peace to gather and strengthen his forces for 18 months, then he broke the treaty by attacking and slaughtering the Quraish. Mohammad justified his act by arguing that since the name he signed on the agreement was not “Mohammad, Prophet of Allah”, he was not bound by the terms of the accord.